What Has Happened to The NFC East?

Jacob CoppContributor IOctober 20, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 03:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants calls a play against the Dallas Cowboys at Giants Stadium on December 3, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Am I the only one who has noticed the NFC East’s poor play this season? In week 6 the teams in the NFC East lost all three games, two of which were to the Chiefs and the Raiders. What has happened to the Beasts of the East? They were the toughest, most feared division in football the past couple of years and now they seem to be nothing but a middle of the road or dare I say it, bad division.

                The Giants are sitting at the top with a 5-1 record, with their loss to dominating Saints. They have looked ok this year even with no Plaxico Burress and with some injuries to some key guys like Aaron Ross.

                Their defense looked very vulnerable last week as Brees absolutely picked them apart. Their safeties are not good, and they seem to be struggling to rush the passer. It’s not going to get easier with Kurt Warner and that Cardinals offense coming to town. They still look like one of the better teams in the NFC, mostly because Eli has looked great lately. Even without their usually tough defense they will be the NFC East Champion.

Let’s look at the Eagles. DISAPPOINTING. What happened week 6 against the Raiders? They looked absolutely putrid, and it seemed like they thought they could just show up and win. You know it’s bad when you lose to a team that starts JaMarcus Russell at quarterback. Donavan looked really bad and the offensive line wasn’t helping him much as he was sacked 6 times and hurried way too much. They threw the ball  54 times to only 12 runs, that seems like a problem calling plays to me especially when Westbrook was running pretty well(6 rushes for 50 yards).

You can’t miss field goals, and David Akers missed two crucial field goals down the stretch. Their defense looked lackadaisical, they are missing Brian Dawkins. The Eagles need to learn something from Louis Murphy’s hustle play, blocking 3 Eagles defenders to help Zach Miller find the end zone on an 86 yard touchdown reception. You have to play hard on every down. They lost to the Raiders, a team the Giants beat 44-7 last week…wow. They need to turn things around and fast.

How ‘bout them Cowboys….seriously, what is going on in Big D? The Cowboys are 3-2 and are coming off of a much needed bye after beating the then winless Kansas City Chiefs 26-20 in OT.  No one fears Jerry’s boys when they come to town this year.  It seems like after getting rid of problem child T.O. this year they lost their bark, which is expected, but also their bite. Roy Williams, their #1 receiver, has looked ordinary and doesn’t look like the guy they traded a first, third, and sixth round pick for. Troy Aikman was right when he said that it might’ve been one of the worst trades in NFL history.

Tony Romo gets an A for effort but he’s been reckless, 6 touchdowns to 4 interceptions, and without playmakers around him he’s forcing things.  There’s also the fact that he hasn’t been able to lead Dallas to a playoff win yet but it’s not all on his shoulders.  Their defense needs to improve greatly, most glaringly the secondary. They will get a big test this week as Atlanta and red hot Matty Ice come to town; this will not be a pretty game for Dallas. Wade Phillips should have his bags packed, can you say Mike Shanahan?

Now to the bottom of the heap, The Redskins. This year Washington seems to be everyone’s first win of the year. They have given four teams their first win this season including Detroit and Kansas City, who will be vying for the #1 pick in the draft. Washington definitely deserves to be the bottom feeders in this division of disappointment. The Skins are lucky to be 2-4, with close victories over winless St. Louis and Tampa Bay. Jim Zorn is half out the door and should be after their horrible production with him as head coach. Jason Campbell was benched last week against Kansas City for the 37 year old Todd Collins. Campbell’s contract is up at the end of the year and it’s safe to say he’s not coming back next year.

Drastic changes need to be made. Things like giving a bingo caller the play calling duties…..wait they already did that. Washington, welcome to the Mike Shanahan sweepstakes please take a number. They need to stop throwing money at every free agent who will listen and build through the draft. I say trade everyone for draft picks and bring back everyone from the 1987 Super Bowl team, fans would love it and I bet Doug Williams can still chuck it.

The NFC East was tops in the league for as long as I can remember. This year has been sad to watch, It’s like when an aging superstar player plays way longer than he should when his skills are diminishing (I’m looking at you NFC East alum Emmitt Smith). I have a plan though; we shouldn’t call it the NFC East anymore because that brings out a sense of toughness and pride, let’s just call it what it is: The Division of Disappointment.